LUBBOCK – The Midland High football team won’t be entering District 2-6A play with the momentum it hoped to.
The Bulldogs suffered their third straight loss as they fell 42-17 to Lubbock Coronado in their final non-district game, Thursday at Lowrey Field.
The Mustangs (1-3) buried MHS with a string of 28 points in the second quarter, and 35 unanswered points that turned into a 35-3 advantage early in the fourth.
The Bulldogs (1-3) will look to regroup before their District 2-6A opener against Odessa High at home on Sept. 24.
The Bulldog defense had trouble getting Coronado off the field in favorable down-and-distance situations.
On fourth-and-15 at the MHS 29, the Mustangs moved the chains after Jett Carroll connected with Surreal Garrett on a 27-yard pass. One play later, Coronado went ahead 7-3 on a 2-yard scoring run by Antonio Malone with 10:13 left in the first quarter.
Late in the second quarter, the Mustangs faced a third-and-14 at midfield following a tackle for a 5-yard loss by MHS linebacker Matteo Houston.
Once again being backed up didn’t matter, as Carroll connected with tight end Trevor Stephens for a 51-yard TD pass that gave Coronado a commanding 28-3 lead with 1:06 left in the first half.
Malone finished with 147 rushing yards on 12 carries after breaking a 56-yard run at the end of the third quarter.
“They had several third-and-long conversions and that hurt us defensively,” MHS head coach Thad Fortune said. “They made some plays. We have to do a better job of tackling, a better job at running to the ball and a better job of when he had chances to make stops, we’ve got to make stops. With a back like (Malone), you can’t give him a second chance.”
The Bulldogs triple-option offense didn’t score its first touchdown until the 6:56 mark of the fourth quarter when Brylee Perez rushed for a 1-yard TD. The game was already out of hand at 35-10 at that point.
Following an onside kick recovery by Cade Williams, MHS added another score, as Zion Ward rushed for 1-yard TD to cut the deficit to 35-17 with 2:16 left. Ward had 152 rushing yards on 19 attempts.
But the Bulldogs missed their chances to seize momentum on their early possessions.
On their first possession, MHS converted two first downs before a couple of fumbled exchanges put it in third-and-long and stalled the drive.
The Bulldogs had a first-and-goal at the Mustang 8 at the end of the first quarter, but Coronado forced them to kick a 25-yard field goal by Bam Ruiz after stuffing two running plays for a loss. MHS led 3-0 at the end of the first quarter before Coronado’s flurry of 35 points.
“Offensively, we had some decent moments,” Fortune said. “Early on especially, I thought we left some points on the board. You just can’t afford to do that. That will always come back to get you. We’ve just got to continue to tighten up our execution, continue to get better in that regard and keep moving forward.”
Trailing 7-3, MHS gave Coronado another big play when Cam Manahan stepped in front of a pass and returned it 48 yards for an interception return.
“They did as good as you could ask,” said Coronado head coach DJ Mann of his defense against the triple-option. “They didn’t complete a lot of big passes on us and that’s one thing I was worried about. I’m worried about them eating a lot of clock. We held them out on a couple of big third downs and fourth downs.”
Mann got his first win as head coach after serving as Cedar Hill offensive coordinator last year.
Follow Christopher on Twitter: @chris_MRTsports
LUBBOCK CORONADO 42, MIDLAND HIGH 17
Midland 3 0 0 14 -- 17
Coronado 0 28 0 14 -- 42
MHS – FG Bam Ruiz 25, 2:12
COR – Antonio Malone 2 run (Carson Shields kick), 10:13
COR – Cam Manahan 48 interception return (Shields kick), 8:00
COR – Jikri McGrew 27 pass from Jett Carroll (Shields kick), 5:05
COR – Trevor Stephens 51 pass from Carroll (Shields kick), 1:06
COR – Carroll 7 run (Shields kick), 11:07
MHS – Brylee Perez 1 run (Ruiz kick), 6:56
MHS – Zion Ward 1 run (Ruiz kick), 2:16
COR – Bricion Griffin 3 run (Shields kick), 1:00
First Downs 25 16
Rushes-yards 58-325 20-220
Passing yards 52 201
Comp.-Att.-Int. 7-13-1 14-22-0
Fumbles-lost 4-0 0-0
Punts-Avg. 4-34.0 2-33.0
Penalties-yds. 6-59 9-42
RUSHING – Midland, Zion Ward 19-152, Landry Walls 17-63, Jacob Urias 5-45, Jakob Vines 8-28, Brylee Perez 8-28, Jake Cunningham 1-16, Team 1-(-7). Coronado, Antonio Malone 12-147, Darrion Taylor 1-59, Bricon Griffin 3-9, Obie Williams 1-7, Jett Carroll 3-(-2),
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